Fire engulfs filling station

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

A truck driver and two forecourt attendants narrowly escaped death yesterday when a truck caught fire and ploughed into petrol pumps, causing a raging inferno.

Damage to the Engen garage in City Deep, Johannesburg, was estimated at more than R1million.

Sam Rapulana, a driver for Cyprus Trucking, had just filled his fuel tank and was trying to start the truck when the ignition short-circuited and caught fire. The truck started moving.

"I was scared when the engine caught fire," said Rapulana.

"I tried to stop it, but the brakes failed. I tried to switch the engine off, but that failed too."

Two forecourt attendants battled the flames for about 20 minutes before fire engines arrived.

Kobie de Wet, co-owner of the garage, said damage was more than R1million.

"I think the driver panicked, lost control of the vehicle and drove straight into the pump," said De Wet.

"We lost eight petrol hoses, and we can't switch those that are working on because all of them are interconnected.

"It might take up to two months to repair and replace everything damaged," he said.